COLLEGE BASKETBALL / NCAA MEN’S TOURNAMENT : MIDWEST REGIONAL : Louisville Has Last Word Over Delaware
Delaware Coach Steve Steinwedel, his team’s 76-70 defeat by Louisville not more than 10 minutes old, looked at star senior center Spencer Dunkley and said, “Well, you better start walking home.”
Dunkley laughed. Steinwedel didn’t.
Two days earlier, Dunkley had said he would crawl across the Hoosier Dome court and “walk back to Delaware” if the 13th-seeded Blue Hens were beaten Friday by fourth-seeded Louisville in the Midwest Regional. It was also Dunkley, born and raised in England, who warned that Cardinal center Cliff Rozier “will have his work cut out for him.”
The next morning someone made sure to deliver five copies of the local paper to Rozier’s hotel room. And before long, every Cardinal on the team was well versed in Dunkley’s pregame prediction.
Dunkley, projected by some draft experts as a first-round NBA pick, did what he could. He scored 12 points, had seven rebounds and blocked one shot, but it wasn’t nearly enough. "(Rozier) was lucky I was off form today,” Dunkley said. “Unfortunately, it wasn’t my turn to make history.”
Meanwhile, Rozier, the celebrated transfer from North Carolina, scored 20 points--he made eight of 11 shots--and had four rebounds in only 27 minutes. Forward Dwayne Morton also added 20 points and four rebounds, to say nothing of the taunt he delivered to Dunkley after an early dunk.
“I want to see the real Spencer!” he yelled at the Delaware star. “I want to see what you got!”
Compared to Morton and Rozier, it wasn’t much. In fact, Louisville (21-8) held a 64-46 lead with 5:06 to play. Then Delaware (22-8) made a modest run, cutting the margin to single digits with 1:06 remaining.
Ahead, 70-61, Louisville made enough free throws to keep the Blue Hens at arm’s length and enough turnovers to keep Delaware within striking distance. Forward Anthony Right, who scored 17 points, and guard Ricky Deadwyler, who made two late three-pointers, kept it interesting for Delaware.
Moments after the game, Morton approached Dunkley. “I told him to get ready to crawl back to Delaware,” said Morton, whose team faces Oklahoma State in the second round.
Oklahoma State 74, Marquette 62--Despite Marquette’s best efforts to double- and sometimes triple-team Bryant (Big Country) Reeves, the 7-foot Cowboy center scored 26 points and had 10 rebounds during the first-round victory.
Reeves, considered one of the most improved players in the nation, made 12 of 19 shots.
So dominating was Reeves, that backup Marquette center Jim McIlvaine drew five fouls in only six minutes. McIlvaine’s quick departure forced Warrior Coach Kevin O’Neill, whose rotation included only seven players, to keep starting center Damon Key on the floor for 39 of the 40 minutes. Key, who led 12th-seeded Marquette (20-8) with 18 points and 11 rebounds, faded near game’s end.
Xavier 73, New Orleans 55--The Privateers were unable to overcome their miserable perimeter shooting--22 of 70 (31.4%)--and the play of Xavier’s Aaron Williams and Brian Grant, who combined for 40 points and 17 rebounds.
As usual, New Orleans (26-4) relied on the inside play of senior center Ervin Johnson. Johnson did his part, scoring 21 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. But when Xavier (24-5) switched from a man-to-man defense to a zone, daring the Privateers to shoot from the outside, the game steadily deteriorated into a Musketeer rout.